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Last day in Savusavu

In the morning we went ashore to clear out and buy some fresh veg. On the way back to the boat we stopped off at a few friends to say goodbye. Amongst those we met were Gary from Inspiration Lady, George and Claudia from Dreamtime, David & Jackie from Jackster, Petr from Endless, Bruce & Alane from Migration, Paul & Maurine from Callypso and Ed & Cornelia from A Cappella. It’s amazing how many folks we know here in the creek at Savusavu. Everyone asked how I’m feeling which is a little better than before. Some progress.

Helen and I stayed on the boat for the rest of the day. Sam went ashore a couple of times to hang out with some of the folks he’s met. He returned the second time around 10:30pm. His arrival woke me up so I went upstairs and chatted with him for a while.

Today we head west on our first leg to Lautoka. I have 5 legs plotted which we’ll more or less follow.

Savusavu

In the morning we really didn’t do too much, just hung around, read, played, relaxed. After lunch we moved the boat into Savusavu so I could visit the doctor. We ended up anchoring at the head of the creek as all the moorings were taken up.

I was able to contact the doctor fairly quickly and soon had an appointment. I went ashore and visited the doctor. I don’t think he had a clear idea of what was wrong suggesting possibly scurvy. He gave me a number of supplement, mainly vitamin C. I’ve started them and, oddly enough, am beginning to feel a little better.

While in the anchorage we got in contact with Inspiration Lady who we’ll probably meet up with tonight. We also ended up chatting with Evi on Wonderland who is here in the creek. We also noticed Endless in the anchorage and on the way back from the doctors I went over to visit. I ended up going aboard where Petr gave me a beer. We chatted for a while and agreed to go out together that evening along with George and Claudia from Dreamtime. I was able to collect the battens he’d brought up from New Zealand.

At 6pm we went ashore to the Coprashed meeting up with everyone there. It was nice to get back together again and catch up. We then went to the Back Deck to eat and have a few more beers. A good evening all round.

Sam met up with some locals and may end up staying out tonight. Apart from that we have a few chored to do around the boat which we’re not doing just yet due to rain. We’re back in Savusavu.

Hike to Na Sau

Helen and I set off early morning for our hike along the trail to the village, Na Sau, on the south side of the island. The trail started at the SW end of Dalice, climbed up a steep hill then joined an old road that was made joining various parts of the old leper colony. From then on the path was easy going as the gradient was set for vehicles. The path had narrowed to a single track walking trail while the rest of the road was overgrown. Half way along the trail we saw some more abandoned buildings of a same age as those we’d been shown when we first arrived here. On one occasion we had a picture perfect view west over the reef and of Vitu Levu in the distance. We hope the pictures come out ok.

Eventually we reached the village of Na Sau and were greeted by Veronica who lived in the house at the trail end. Only 7 families live in this village but it has the school for the island. The children from Dalice come here on Monday’s and return on Friday. Veronica took us to the school where we met the two teachers. The children were just finishing their break and were settling down. Remarkably so as, unlike western kids who’d be larking around until the teacher came in, these students had sat down and got on with their work. We wished we’d bought something for the school as they could do with anything of help, stationary, etc.

We left the school and headed back. Veronica offered us some lemon juice which was very refreshing. The trail back seemed quicker even though we stopped to pick up some lemons. In the end it was just over an hour each way.

Heading back to the boat we shared some of the lemons with the other cruisers before stopping for lunch. After lunch Claudia stopped by from Dreamtime with her hard drives. That meant my afternoon was set sharing movies, etc. During one of the longer copies, Helen and I took our used tanks and dove the nearby coral head. We didn’t spend long as all the good stuff was at the top where we’d already snorkeled.

When I’d finished copying I took all the hard drives, theirs and ours, over to Dreamtime so they could reverse the transaction. We will pick them up this morning before we leave. Endless has already left and reported that the winds are light so we won’t be going far.

Pig

In the morning Petr and Alex from Endless and we headed to Dreamtime with all our dive gear. Dreamtime dragged the three dinghies round to the other side of Makodroga Island to our north. There they anchored and we all headed off to a bommie (coral head) to dive. Being close to high tide the seas were quite choppy. There were currents around the bommie which made the dive a bit tricky at times but all in all, with very clear water the dive was pretty good. The corals were vibrant and the fish abundant Helen felt a bit queasy towards the end so we headed back ahead of the others.

Back on Dreamtime we warmed up while we waited for the others to return. Petr, having a more powerful outboard, headed straight back to the anchorage. Raising Dreamtime’s anchor turned out to be a problem as it had become tangled in coral/rock. I ended up free diving down the descending chain to take a look. I almost got it untangled before I ran out of breath. I didn’t enjoy the 40ft ascent to the surface but I was motivated. I put on my dive gear to finish the job off, forgetting to put the weights back on which made my descent a bit harder than it should. Once I’d freed the chain from the coral I used the chain to slow my ascent.

Back at the anchorage we relaxed the afternoon before going ashore at 5pm for the cooked pig. The few villagers remaining (some had left for Suva/the other side of the island) had cooked the pig along with taro root, taro leaves, plantains and casava in a ground oven covering everything over with leaved. The pig had been dismembered and the various parts intricately wrapped in woven leaves.

The food was delicious. The pig must have led a good life as it was pretty fatty but that was all at the surface and could be removed. We’d taken a lot of beer ashore to share with the villagers which pleased them no end. We also took some toys and balloons for the four small children there. The balloons never lasted long so I was kept busy inflating others. The children also had a lot of fun chasing my laser pointer around the place.

Our general plan is to wait here for a day or two for a front that is approaching. The front bring northerlies, then westerlies, either of which will be good for a sail down to Gau which will close the distance between here and Suva. The front itself will likely bring rain so we’ll leave once the worst is past. That’s the idea anyway.

More Repairs

I went ashore in the morning to take a look at the two DVD players that weren’t working.

First I took a look at Camili’s which was described as being in black and white only. Upon plugging it in this indeed was the case. On further inspection the disk tray wouldn’t open either so that was an additional problem. Opening it up and examining the tray revealed a problem with the mechanism which was readily fixed. I figured the black and white issue was something to do with setup for which I needed the remote control. Camili gave it to me but it didn’t work. I opened up the battery case and it was full of crud so I cleaned it out and replaced the batteries. Now the control was working but not all the keys.

The setup key worked but try as I might, using just the down and left arrow keys (the others didn’t work) I couldn’t find a setting that would control the colour. As I was trying this I was getting more and more irritated by tiny ants that were vacating the control. I looked like a few had made their home in there. I decided to try and make the rest of the control work so I squirted in some contact cleaner. This was the cue for the entire ants nest, which had settled inside the control, to vacate, eggs and all. This was a new one.

Once the ants were clear the control still didn’t work. I opened it up and tested the internal connections. There were some dry joints between some of the circuit board layers which needed fixing. This was a pain in the arse job to do with my limited tools as I had to run a new wire from one side of the board to the other and the only thing I could solder to was scraped off circuit board connections. I managed it and got the control working. One of the keys on the control was labeled P/S which toggled between PAL and SECAM. That did the trick.

I was less successful with the other DVD player. I span up ok and recognised the presence of disks so most of the circuitry was working. However, the disks couldn’t be properly read and it would give up. My best guess was a wobbly drive motor as it did make a rattle and the disks weren’t spinning smoothly and this I could not fix.

After returning to the boat and a bite to eat Helen and I went snorkeling. We first went to a tall coral head which was very interesting and festooned with fish. Two of the giant clams from the farm were nestled on the top. I managed to take a picture with one and with Helen in it to give a sense of size.

We also snorkeled a reef near the beach. Here there were many more giant clams although not so fully grown. There were also a number of old beds, presumably from the former leper colony.

While we were snorkeling Endless arrived and offered us beers when we popped by to say hello. We showered off and returned to Endless giving them the lowdown for the area over a couple of cans of NZ beer.

We separated for the afternoon. In the evening us, the Jarana’s and Endlesses all met up on Dreamtime for a pot luck dinner. There we learned that Petr from Endless had bought a pig that is now going to be cooked this afternoon by the villagers. That should be fun. Today we’re also going to pile onto Dreamtime to go around the corner for a dive or two. I’d better start getting things ready.